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Paul Hemmings

Viewing music through a wide-angle lens, Paul Hemmings utilizes the unassuming ukulele to fuse together elements of modern jazz, free improvisation, and American roots music into a signature sound that has been called “bold, beautiful, and full of promise.” He has released six albums on Leading Tone Records, including outings with his ukulele-fronted jazz trio, The Paul Hemmings Uketet, and critically acclaimed recordings with saxophonists John Tchicai and Eric Alexander. His proclivity for crossing musical boundaries led All About Jazz to write, “Hemmings’ mixture of cultures, influences, and genres, exploring the edges of harmony and rhythm, is remarkably fresh and a complete success.”

Based in New York City, Paul performs regularly as leader of The Paul Hemmings Uketet, the dynamic ukulele-bass-drum team he uses to interpret his own original compositions and renditions of modern standards. The group’s latest album, The Blues And The Abstract Uke, is a collection of aural snapshots that focus on the breadth of American blues music through the unique filter of the jazz ukulele trio. Along with Paul on ukulele, the album features Gaku Takanashi on bass and Rudy Royston on drums, in addition to special guests Greg Tardy on tenor saxophone and Curtis Fowlkes on trombone.

Introducing…The Paul Hemmings Uketet, the trio’s aptly named debut, was released in 2012 and features idiosyncratic renditions of a wide cross-section of twentieth-century music, from Thelonious Monk and Antonio-Carlos Jobim to Bob Marley and The Beatles, alongside a handful of Hemmings' original compositions. The album was met with widespread critical acclaim and continues to enjoy airplay on several public radio stations around the country.

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”Bravely original...Hemmings' mixture of cultures, influences, and genres exploring the edges of harmony and rhythm is remarkably fresh and a complete success. Hemmings is pushing the boundaries of convention and structure, seducing jazz's modern temper and molding his very own profound form and style in the process. Letter From America is certain to be one of the year's best albums.”

- Peter Sanchez, All About Jazz, Los Angeles

”[Letter From America], a collaboration between guitarist Paul Hemmings and avant-garde saxophonist John Tchicai, is a curious amalgam, contrasting amorphous freejazz with the pounding beat of surf rock, or mixing whispered dialogues with intense tugs-of-war and happy little grooves

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Albums

The Blues and the...

Leading Tone Records
2015

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Introducing...The...

Leading Tone Records
2012

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Standards, Vol. 1

Leading Tone Records
2010

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Letter from America

Leading Tone Records
2008

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Sgt. Pepper's Lonely...

Leading Tone Records
2006

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In & Out

Leading Tone Records
2003

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